Giants of the Solar System – Two Days in a Row Shows a Large Prominence Evolving – Photos and Time Lapse

| |

How big is big ? On 6th and 7th February, 2022, the Sun has featured a gigantic solar prominence over the limbs chromosphere. This Giant was visible for two days and then erupted, throwing a coronal mass ejection (CME) into space. So I made a huge effort of gathering as much images as possible during these two days in a row. With it, I could show the shape evolution of the prominence before it vanished. Most of the images were made between UT11h51 and UT14h39. On the first day, the weather conditions were not perfect, with moments of average seeing. The second day was much better in terms of stability. So I made 4 time lapse sequences that reveals this formation in motion, comprising a wider and close-up views for both days (with 2x barlow). The final result is a 4K high resolution solar movie comprising around 2,5 hours for each day, with a total of 5 hours of images. According to my measurements in pixels, the size of this prominence – special in the second day – was about 10x the size our planet Earth, in height, but stretching around the sun’s limb for thousands of kilometres. As comparison, a width beyond the largest system rings of Saturn. So I used my planetary images of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars to give a scale in the movie as well as in the final poster with the still images of both days. Both Solar and planetary photos were captured in the Dark Sky® Alqueva region, Portugal.

As this kind of images are involving a tremendous amount of work (several hours, days) and data to process. Here are some curiosities: I have captured 692 Raw videos of 900 frames each. A total of 622,800 frames with 3TB of space. Around 22% were used, with 138,400 still images being processed. Below is possible to watch the 4K high resolution video time lapse sequence compiling 692 shots processed (wide and Close-up), each one as result of a stack of the best 200 frames from each raw video. The image above was distinguished as “Highly Commended” in the “Our Sun” category in the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2022 from Royal Observatory of Greenwich, in London.

PT: A imagem acima foi distinguida como “Highly Commended” na categoria “Our Sun” do concurso internacional “Astronomy Photographer of the Year” 2022 do Royal Observatory of Greenwich, em Londres. Em baixo é possível ver o vídeo time lapse compilando 692 captações processadas (wide e close-up), cada uma como resultado de um stack dos melhores 200 frames de cada vídeo raw. O resultado final é um filme time lapse de alta resolução de 4K que condensa cerca de 5h de imagens.

: Quão grande é grande? Nos dias 6 e 7 de fevereiro de 2022, o Sol apresentou uma proeminência solar gigantesca visível ao redor a cromosfera. Este gigante, ficou visível por dois dias e depois entrou em erupção, lançando uma ejeção de massa coronal (CME) no espaço. Assim, fiz um esforço enorme para reunir o máximo de imagens possível durante esses dois dias seguidos. Com ele, pude mostrar a evolução da forma da proeminência antes que ela desaparecesse. A maioria das imagens foi feita entre UT11h51 e UT14h39. No primeiro dia, as condições meteorológicas não eram perfeitas, com momentos de estabilidade mediana a boa. O segundo dia foi muito melhor em termos de estabilidade. O resultado foram 4 sequências time lapse que revelam essa formação em movimento, compreendendo vistas mais amplas e em close-up (com barlow 2x) captadas em ambos os dias. O resultado final é um filme solar 4K de alta resolução com cerca de 2,5 horas por cada dia, num total de 5 horas de imagens. De acordo com minhas medições em pixels, o tamanho dessa proeminência – especialmente no segundo dia – era em altura cerca de 10x o diâmetro do nosso planeta Terra, mas a sua extensão ao redor do limbo solar atingia milhares de quilómetros. Como comparação, a sua largura poderia ir para além do maior sistema de anéis de Saturno. Nesse sentido, usei imagens planetárias obtidas por mim, de Júpiter, Saturno e Marte para dar uma escala no filme, bem como no poster final com as imagens estáticas dos dois dias. As imagens solares e planetárias foram captuadas na região do Dark Sky® Alqueva, Portugal.

Como este tipo de imagens envolve uma quantidade enorme de trabalho (várias horas e dias) e muitos GBs para processar. Aqui estão algumas curiosidades: Captei 692 vídeos Raw de 900 frames cada. Um total de 622.800 frames ocupando um total de 3 TB de espaço. Cerca de 22% foram utilizados, totalizando 138.400 imagens estáticas processadas.


Above is the image captured on 6th Feb. in comparison with image captured on 7th Feb. (at right) both using a barlow lens. Below are some still shots presented in a portrait, landscape, or monochromatic version, intended to help conduct the reader attention to the most interesting parts of the image.

PT: Acima está a imagem captada no dia 6 de Fev. em compração com a imagem captada no dia 7 de Fev. Em baixo estão algumas fotos apresentadas em uma versão retrato e paisagem, bem como em uma versão monocromática, com o objetivo intencional de ajudar a conduzir a atenção do leitor para as partes mais interessantes da imagem.


Technical details | Detalhes Técnicos

SW Esprit 120ED Professional | EQ-6 Pro mount | Daystar Quark Prominence filter| QUY5III174M | TV Powermate 2x used only in close-up shots |Focuser Sesto Senso 2 | Stack of 200 frames for each single image, captured in average and good seeing conditions (1,30″ arcs) from Dark Sky® Alqueva territory, Portugal.

Important Note | Nota Importante:  Never look and point a telescope or any other optical equipment directly to the sun without a proper and specialized safty filters! It can blind you forever.  PT: Nota Importante –  Nunca aponte um telescópio ou qualquer equipamento óptico directamente para o sol e observe através dele sem filtros especializados e seguros. Causará cegueira irreversível!



Buy a Fine Art Print or Wall Decor of this Image
– Make your order Now! 

You can choose the best style of print do you preffer to decorate in a fashion way your walls. Metal Prints with durable and vivid colors, Acrylic, Canvas or the highest quality Gallery Print – a 6 colour UV direct printing on acrylic glass (2mm) including light colours and reinforced by an aluminium dibond plate (3mm). Those type of Prints can highlight the final work in an artistic way, showing the photograph as a piece of art. I work with two high quality specialized Labs in US and in Europe, using Kodak Professional Endura Premier Metallic papers and Fujifilm Crystal Archive DP II Professional.  You can select the image above or freely navigate to more than 800 photographs available in my gallery – each one with their own story and magic – and choose the photograph you would love to have in your home or office.

How to Order – Simple and easy, just “copy and paste” the link of this page or the image you choosed and fill it in the form below, with the size you want and any detail you wish to include on the message, like your country, name and postal address. Free Shipping included to all prints (except frames). For US and Europe the delivery is 4-8 working days, while to Portugal and Spain is normally 2-6 working days. After submitting the order through the form, I will contact you for the payment method (Paypal available or bank transfer) and with other questions related to your print(s) or requests. Once payment is confirmed, your order is shipped within 24h. In case you wish, I can send you separtely with no additional cost, a postcard autographed and numbered of the same image you have just bought, as a seal and proof of art work authenticity from the author. Let me know what is your wish.

    Your Name | O seu Nome (*)

    Your Email | O seu E-mail (*)

    Select your country | Escolha o seu País

    Size and Type of Prints to Order with Price (*)

    Select Type of Paper - For Prints Only

    Intended to Pay with | Tenciona Pagar com (*)

    Shipping | Envio Internacional (*)

    Link of the picture you choose from the gallery

    Delivery Address | Additional Questions

    Copyright 2023 © All rights reserved to the author Miguel Claro | The website content is primarily in english, and partially in portuguese: en | pt